Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Burrell obituary: Beloved by fans of both Belfast Celtic and Linfield

Gerry Burrell, who has died aged 90, was one of Irish football's unsung heroes, a man held in equally high esteem by supporters of old rivals Linfield and Belfast Celtic.

Portadown-born Gerry, a gifted right winger, played for several years for Celtic before they quit Irish League football and he later went on to become one of Linfield's most respected talent-spotters, scouting for the club for nearly 50 years.

That made Gerry one of the longest-serving active participants in local football and come rain, hail or shine Gerry could be seen at playing fields all around Belfast as he tried to find the stars of tomorrow.

And he had all the right credentials for the job because after spells with Belfast Celtic and Dundela, Gerry was transferred to the Scottish league side St Mirren.

After four years earning £8 a week at St Mirren, Gerry joined Dundee for an extra £6 in his wage packet, before moving south to Huddersfield Town and then to Chesterfield.

Returning to Northern Ireland, Gerry played for several sides well into his forties, but switched to scouting and spotted a number of Linfield's top players.

He was a laugh-a-minute, non-stop talker who was an ever-present at social events at Windsor Park. He never tired of reminiscing about his other footballing love - Belfast Celtic. But scouting was his real passion.

Gerry, who lived in the Ormeau Road area, is survived by his wife Pat.

Belfast Telegraph

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